Reddit to experiment with proper profiles, users predictably freak out

A small group of content creators on Reddit have been chosen to test an early version of a new feature. Basically, these users now have public profiles for other Redditors to subscribe to. These users can post things directly to this profile, making it possible for individual profile posts to appear on the home page instead of through a particular community. According to Reddit, this test is all about courting content creators.

We're making this change because content creators tell us they have a hard time finding the right place to post their content. We also want to support them in being able to grow their own followers (similar to how communities can build subscribers). We've been working very closely with mods in a few communities to make sure the product will not negatively impact our existing communities. These mods have provided incredibly helpful feedback during the development process, and we are very grateful to them. They are the ones that helped us select the first batch of test users.

These profiles look an awful lot like profiles you see on just about every social network. There's a profile photo, a background banner photo, a list of posts from that user with individual comment threads, and a list of communities this user is active in. It's fairly generic right now, because it's an early test and changes are expected to be made based on feedback, but that hasn't stopped Redditors from calling this the end of days.

Oh good, the reddit facebook update. I had been waiting for you dips to kill your own website! Good job!Sounds like what happened with DIGG 4.0 Nobody cares about 'power users' In fact, everyone HATES 'power users'Great. Reddit can now truly showcase the best the internet has to offer, the fantastic "Content Creators TM " that have already brought us Instagram, Youtube, and Snapchat's vibrant, productive communities of discussion.

While many Redditors have a long and storied history of hating any form of change, there's plenty of positive responses to this idea. This isn't fundamentally changing how interacting in a SubReddit works, but it does offer an alternative to creating a personal SubReddit and still maintain the ability to publish whatever you want.

Anything that can be done to take power away from mods is a good thingI actually quite like the change honestly. It doesn't diminish subs but allows for some more personal stuff too.I'm looking forward to this! A very cool way to not shun content creators but keep queues clean as well. I'd love to be a tester if there are any slots open.

While it's clear both sets of opinions have merit, the most important thing here is recognizing how early on this change is. This is not rolling out to everyone, because the folks at Reddit know it's nowhere near a complete thought yet. The people who have this feature now will be able to participate in the feedback process, and that's going to grow out from here with some extra tools added when necessary.

Is Reddit becoming Facebook? Probably not, no. Will this give content creators a unique space to broadcast their ideas? That's less clear. And, like any new thing on Reddit, this will need to be carefully monitored for abuse. I'm looking forward to seeing this grow, even though as a daily lurker I don't think I'll personally have a reason to use this feature anytime soon.

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!